I need your help.  We’re looking for Master Speakers and we need your nominations.  

Here’s the back story.  As you know very well, we’re awash in data, information, and news 24/7.  Far too much mental stuff floats past our consciousness on a daily basis.  Thus, the success of that modern marvel, the Internet, has created the need for curation.  If we’re interested in some area of expertise, we need someone to narrow it down for us, because the Internet provides us with too much of everything.

Curation.  I’ve been thinking about that concept in the context of the world of public speaking, and how increased competition and more speakers in general has meant that someone looking for a speaker today will have a very difficult time narrowing down their search from thousands to a manageable few.  

You can of course rely on the people you’ve already heard of, the few speakers you’ve encountered in the course of your professional life, or perhaps even the ones you’ve met by chance at a restaurant or a ballgame.  

But that’s hardly a curated list and that approach will make it hard for you to break out of your own bubble of interests and work.  

Accordingly, I’ve decided to ask for everyone’s help in developing a curated list of roughly 50 of the world’s best professional speakers.  Whom have you seen that was top notch?  I want your nominations for professional speakers, appropriate for a business conference, on topics of relevance to the business world and organizational life generally, who in your estimation are among the very, very best.  

I’m seeding the list with six of the very best speakers I’ve encountered as a coach.  I’ve worked with each of these six in the past, and watched them get better and better, and I can vouch for the excellence of their content, their delivery, and their professionalism.  

But I don’t want to stop there, and I don’t want the list to be confined to people I know or have worked with.  So please, nominate your best candidates.  Send me a very brief statement covering 1) who they are; 2) what they talk about; 3) why they’re great; and 4) a link to a speech of theirs.  

Remember, we’re talking about current professionals.  So please don’t nominate Martin Luther King, Jr, or your favorite college professor, or the like.  Only current, top-notch, professional speakers will be considered.  

The goal is to add slowly to the list until we reach approximately 50 names.  The Master Speakers.  The best of the best.  The ones with world-changing content, captivating delivery, and true professionalism as a speaker.  

And meet the first six Master Speakers:  David Meerman Scott, Sally Hogshead, Tim Sanders, Susan Ershler, Ryan Estis, and Josh Linkner.  

If you want to hire one of these speakers for your event, you can reach out to me or directly to them via the websites listed.  I will simply pass on the information; I’m not taking a cut.  I’m vouching for these speakers – that’s it.  

Whom do you think should be added to the list?

Many Thanks

Nick

 

 

18 Comments

  1. Nick, this is a wonderful idea. I’m frequently asked for names of people to speak and this will be a fantastic resource to pass on to event planners. I am honored that you’ve added me to the list. Congrats to Sally, Tim, Susan, Ryan, and Josh!

    1. Not to mention Mitch Joel….OK, Mitch, you’re right, there are lots, that’s the point of this. Now, let’s do the hard work of nominating them one by one. I need to review video, websites, testimonials, the works. I want to do this in a very deliberate, holistic, diverse way. So bring on the nominations!

  2. Nick, I recommend Guy Kawasaki.

    1) who they are: authored 13 books (e.g. The Art of the Start); gives over 50 keynote speeches a year, evangelist (brand ambassador for Mercedes, Canva, ex-Chief Software Evangelist at Apple). Executive Fellow of the Haas School of Business, Trustee of Wikimedia Foundation. https://guykawasaki.com/guy-kawasaki/
    2) what they talk about; innovation, enchantment, social media, entrepreneurship, https://guykawasaki.com/speeches/
    3) why they’re great: Epitomizes everything a professional keynote speaker is.
    and 4) a link to a speech of theirs. https://guykawasaki.com/speeches/

    1. Bruna — thanks so much — this kind of nomination is exactly what we need. I’ve seen Guy speak a couple of times, and he has a wonderful ease and joy on the stage. So I will dig into this and consider him thoroughly! Many, many thanks.

  3. Hi Nick,
    This is a great idea.
    As someone who has been involved in the selection of plenary speakers for two different organizations for more than a dozen years, I’d like to see this carried even further.
    How about catergories, i.e., sports, the media, education, business (lots of room for subcategories here)?
    I consider myself a master trainer, but would never show up on a top 500 list.
    But if you were looking in my niche market, I might be in the top ten.
    I realize this is a geometric step increase, but would be welcome, especially to organization that can’t afford 50k or more for a top 50 speaker.

  4. Hi Nick,
    This is a great idea.
    As someone who has been involved in the selection of plenary speakers for two different organizations for more than a dozen years, I’d like to see this carried even further.
    How about catergories, i.e., sports, the media, education, business (lots of room for subcategories here)?
    I consider myself a master trainer, but would never show up on a top 500 list.
    But if you were looking in my niche market, I might be in the top ten.
    I realize this is a geometric step increase, but would be welcome, especially to organization that can’t afford 50k or more for a top 50 speaker.

    1. Mike, as we grow the list, categories will make sense. One baby step at a time for now! Agree with the need; I don’t want to get too huge too fast, so please be patient.

  5. Hi Nick 

    My nominations are as follows.

    Number 5.  Maysoon Zayid – I got 99 problems…Palsy is just one…Courageous, Hilarious – Seriously Hilarious.

    https://youtu.be/buRLc2eWGPQ

    Number 4.  Benjamin Zander – The Transformative- Power of Classical Music – he will make you laugh – maybe even cry, I did, and if you do not love classical music now – you may do at the end.

    https://youtu.be/r9LCwI5iErE

    Number 3. Ken Robinson – Do Schools kill creativity. Brilliantly funny, a natural storyteller, a rare breed indeed. 

    https://youtu.be/iG9CE55wbtY

    Number 2. Brene Brown – The Power of Vulnerability – Human Connection.  This speech created a huge impact on the speaker and her audience.  Who would have suggested a topic of Vulnerability and where is the power of being vulnerable???  The style and delivery is authenticity personified.   This speech had a message that was needed to be heard and found a huge audience willing to listen.

    https://youtu.be/iCvmsMzlF7o

    Number 1. Brene Brown Listening To Shame – The secret to broken behaviour.  Really you are going to follow up the above speech on a topic of Shame??? Shame??? Nobody talks about shame and not in Public!!!  Personal story and her “spiritual awakening” or break down.  The effect of the above the story.  And the Man in the Arena quote of Theodore Roosevelt was so powerful.  Brene Brown is the only speaker I have seen live. I travelled from Cork to London and Brene was all and more Live.

    https://youtu.be/psN1DORYYV0

    Kindest regards
    John

    1. Thanks, John — I will investigate these. I know them all but will study in detail. Please keep in mind that one of the criteria is “professional speaker,” meaning that they speak regularly to businesses and organizations. I’m not sure that Sir Ken is a regular speaker — do you know? And just to be clear, I’m not looking for particular great speeches, but a career’s worth of work.

  6. Good afternoon Nick

    I checked the website sirkenrobinson.com and on topics like education, it states he is a professional speaker.

    Hope that helps.

    Kindest regards
    John

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